This week I am going to talk briefly about one of my favorite exercises for both upper body strength and power development. The exercise I am talking about is the pull-up. When I ask most people to do a pull-up their immediate response goes something like this “I can’t do pull-ups. I have not done any pull-ups since eighth grade gym class”. Most people give up before they ever try doing a single repetition.
The truth is pull-ups are hard to do, however, when done properly they are one of the best exercises for both power and upper body strength.
Here are 5 reasons why I love to do pull-ups:
- They can help improve your posture: Why is this? Because most people sit all day at a desk or sit for long periods of time driving. Pull-ups with good form will force you to put yourself in a better position which in turn can improve your posture. When we sit all day we “turn off” certain muscles. Pull-ups will force you to work on some of your stabilizer muscles in your back and shoulder which in turn can improve your posture when working properly.
- You can do them anywhere: As you will see in the attached video you do not have to belong to a gym in order to do pull-ups. If you live near a park head over to the jungle gym and get started.
- They can help to build big strong shoulders: Instead of doing side dumbbell raises pick up some resistance bands and build some strong shoulders.
- They can help you get faster: Most people don’t believe me when I tell them this however next time you watch elite runners run a 100 meter dash take a look at their upper body and tell me if you think they do pull-ups? You won’t see any skinny sprinters running sub 10 seconds. The reason they can help improve your speed is because your “lat” muscles connect into your glute muscles which as we know are your “speed” muscles. A strong back equals fast sprinters.
- They help build strong arms: Let’s face it, who wants to have skinny arms? Pull ups are a great way to increase both the size and the strength of your arms. With beach season upon us I am sure most people are looking to gain some muscle in their arms. With proper nutrition added into the mix you will see an increase in the size of your arms.
Before you tell me that you are unable to do any pull-ups I want you to watch the video link below. Everyone can start to do pull-ups today. All you need to do is follow the proper progressions in the video if you want to benefit from one of the best exercises for your body.
Check out this video link: Band pull-ups
Purchase bands here: https://rbt.infusionsoft.com/go/bd/kevinm/
Have a question for Union strength coach Kevin Miller? Leave them in the comments below.